Avera ‘Walking Forward’ to fight cancer

Avera Health has announced that the Walking Forward Program, based in Rapid City, has been awarded a grant for over $1.6 million from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation to increase lung cancer screening rates for high-risk smokers living in western South Dakota.

The award, which will be distributed over the course of three years (2018-2020), will fund Walking Forward’s research dedicated to increasing awareness of lung cancer prevention and access to advanced lung cancer screening technology.

In 2002, Walking Forward was developed and has been led by Daniel Petereit, MD, FASTRO, who is also the principal investigator on the study and a radiation oncologist at Regional Health — John T. Vucurevich Cancer Care Institute.

While the program was created to address the high cancer mortality rates among American Indians in western South Dakota, this research will address the entire West River population.

Walking Forward is integrated with Avera Health and works closely with Regional Health, and through this collaboration, grant monies are managed through Avera.

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